Teen Discipline: Piercing and Other Challenges- Part 6
by Dr. Coach Love
In Parts 1-5, I suggested that your family is experiencing a conflict of rights and asked 10 questions for you to consider regarding your family values. I reflected that it is not a simple either/or question of whether your son has the right to pierce or you have a higher order right as parents/homeowners to enforce house rules. You have a clash challenging the health of your relationship. I offered 11 potential outcomes to review before approaching the relationship crossroads on this issue.
At this point, take some time with your spouse to review these 5 decision possibilities and custom create other decisions. Consider the following coaching tips, which are aligned with each of the five decisions. Here are the first two.
1. You both decide to let go of the issue.
You both have decided that despite your concerns about or distaste for tongue piercing, this may not be a battleground worth entering. You feel that his insistence is a typical adolescent developmental pattern. Piercing is a right of passage for him. You know that every generation has had rights of passage to which parents vigorously objected. You recognize that this legitimate value difference could result in destructive family conflict or cutoff.
If this is the case for you, then it just does not make sense for you to attempt to impose your values on him. From this position, you can firmly discuss your objections and concerns. Express support for what you believe is healthy. Then let the issue go.
However, if either one of you cannot let it go, consider this next tip.
2. Only one of you can let the piercing issue go.
Since you both do not agree on choosing “tongue piercing” as a battle to fight and a reason to put your son out of your house, this family conflict takes on another dimension: your rights versus those of your husband’s.
Do not let this become a marriage divider. Resolve the conflict between the two of you before you attempt to deal with the issue with your son. If you and your spouse cannot reach a joint position or solid compromise, consider seeking the professional assistance of a qualified marriage and family therapist.